Immanuel Kant Vs. Joshua Wegner Essay, Research Paper

Joshua Wegner

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Doctrine 101

12/07/00

Trentacoste

Immanuel Kant vs. Joshua Wegner

THE RIGHT TO PUNISH: RETRIBUTIVISM

As a society we all accept the fact that if you do something wrong you must be held responsible for your actions and pay the effects. We all accept the construct of penalty, even though we are cognizant that we, ourselves, could one twenty-four hours be subjected to reply for our actions. While we may all be in favour of penalty in general, it is frequently debated upon how or why we punish a felon. Harmonizing to Immanuel Kant? s Retributivism statement, ? the penalty must be in exact proportion to the badness of the error & # 8230 ; ? ( Kant, 585 ) Kant believes that offense causes the graduated table of justness to be imbalanced, and claims that punishment restores that balance. While I agree that Kant? s motivations for penalty are sensible, I find his solution to be weak in some countries, and/or absurd.

Before one can rebut or support a philosophical statement, he must foremost understand it. Kant? s construct of Retributivism is a simple one ; the penalty must be the offense. It is of import to observe that Kant defines offenses as? Any evildoing of the populace jurisprudence which makes him who commits it incapable of being a citizen? ( Kant 586 ) .

? While felons do non really will their ain penalty, their rational egos will the system of Torahs that involves the penalty they deserve. ? It is every bit of import to observe that it is merely the right of the crowned head as the supreme power to penalize. His statement accuses all other criterions as being? hesitating and unsure? ? ? ? On history of other considerations involved in them, they contain no principal conformable to the sentence of pure and rigorous justice. ? ( Kant 587 )

Everyone has their ain thoughts on why a felon should be punished. Maybe it gives us a sense of security. Possibly it offers us a piece of head. In some state of affairss, penalty may be thought of as? aid? for the felon, rehabilitation, or perchance retaliation. Along with the huge bulk, Kant agrees on the importance of penalty ; nevertheless, his theory is a small different. Equilibrium. In order for society to be balanced harmonizing to Kant, the penalty must be or? call off out? the offense. While I don? Ts disagree with his motivations, I feel that there are many that he ignores. Shouldn? T we take them all into history?

The construct of penalty in itself is seldom questioned ; nevertheless, the inquiry of how we punish the convicted is still widely debated. Harmonizing to Kant? s theory, the reply is reasonably simple: the penalty must suit the offense. Immanuel Kant is decidedly one of those? oculus for an oculus, tooth for a tooth? , cats. He looks at society as a graduated table. Crime is placed on one terminal, doing the graduated table imbalanced. In order to equilibrate that graduated table, an equal sum of penalty must travel on the other terminal. The job occurs when we try to compare offense with penalty. There is no definite sum or grade of penalty that equals a certain sum of offense. It? s like comparing a measure of? tens? with a measure of? Y? . Without a specific value assigned to both? ten? and? Y? , the lone manner to compare the two is with guess. Speculation leads to an imprecise declaration, therefore resulti

nanogram in an imbalanced graduated table ( whether it be of all time so little ) . If there is no definite manner to? equilibrate the graduated table? , Kant? s statement proves to be unsure or fallible. On top of that uncertainness, there are several state of affairss that make Kant? s statement more questionable. To assist clear up these uncertainnesss, Kant suggests that, ? the undeserved immorality which any one commits on another, is to be regarded as perpetrated on himself ( Kant, 587 ) . ? While his statement provides solutions to many questionable state of affairss, his replies are still a small rickety. Let? s return larceny, for illustration. Harmonizing to Kant, he who steals makes the belongings of others insecure. Therefore, he robs himself of all belongings and security. Though he has the will to populate, he can non hold or get anything. The job with Kant? s statement on larceny is that there are changing grades of larceny. Suppose a individual robs a bank, while another bargains a piece of confect. Should the two suffer the same effect? Harmonizing to Kant, they should. He so goes on to state that the felon may? replace? this penalty by giving his powers to the province to be used in penal labour, therefore ensuing in prison clip, etc. This helps Kant distinguish between big-time wrongdoers and junior-grade boosters ; nevertheless, a inquiry still arises. How much labour or clip are you to delegate to the felon? ( Which brings us back to the? ten? vs. ? Y? inquiry ) There is no definite manner to find that? one auto is tantamount to 3 old ages in prison? ; hence, Kant? s statement is non logical in finding how a felon is punished.

The conclusiveness of Kant? s solution in retributivism sets himself up for several questionable scenarios. The biggest one and likely most controversial is his position on slaying. As he so blatantly put it, ? Whoever has committed slaying must decease? ( Kant 586 ) . In today? s society, we have different phases of slaying, therefore different grades of penalty. Would Kant perchance condemn a liquidator if he/she was a kid? What if the felon had been mentally ill? Suppose this was a instance of nonvoluntary manslaughter? Does each of these state of affairss demand the same penalty as that of a blood-crazed consecutive slayer? Kant would hold to reply? yes? to each scenario. Kant claims that the executing of the victim, ? must be kept free from all ill-treatment that would do the humanity agony in his individual loathsome or detestable? , possibly in attempt to expose a small clemency amongst his rough statement. Is it merciful to set a kid to decease after killing his male parent who had abused him?

I guess Kant? s female parent ne’er told him that two wrongs don? Ts make a right. While Kant expresses good thoughts and deep ideas, it appears to me that he? s losing the construct by a pinch or two. ( Harmonizing to my beliefs, of class ) He seems to seek retribution as his primary motivation, while pretermiting those of safety, disincentive of future felons, etc. Possibly Kant has a natural gift in declaring the equivalency of each error. As for the remainder of society ; nevertheless, it? s non that black and white. Kant claims that apart from his position, ? all other criterions are hesitating and unsure? ( Kant 587 ) . Not to wholly differ ; nevertheless, I do experience that people should be held accountable for their actions, merely my it? s my sentiment that Kant? s Retributivism statement is non merely a small extreme in some state of affairss, but besides slightly? hesitating and unsure? .

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